MANSEHRA: A two-member bench of the Supreme Court on Monday allowed the National Highway Authority (NHA) to restart collection of the toll tax at Karakorum Highway (KKH) in Mansehra, which had been suspended after a law and order situation was created earlier this year.

On March 2010, the district administration of Mansehra had closed the toll tax after the local transporters, traders, Ulema, and lawyers threatened to storm toll tax plaza at Datta.The district and sessions judge of Mansehra and later Abbottabad Circuit Bench of the Peshawar High Court also upheld the verdict on July 4 this year. The NHA challenged the verdicts in the Supreme Court in October last month and sought re-functioning of the toll plaza.

The apex court had summoned district police officer Mansehra Ijaz Ahmad Khan to appear in the court for comments. The apex court heard arguments by the counsels of the National Highway Authority, district administration and transporters. Former president of the district bar association Shahjahan Khan Swati and Ghulam Mustafa Khan appeared before the two-member bench on behalf of transporters.

The DPO in his comments told the apex court that transporters, Ulema, traders, lawyers and people of Mansehra were against the toll tax collection and four policemen including sub-inspector had been killed over the issue. The bench after hearing the arguments of both sides allowed the NHA to restart the toll tax collection. The bench also asked the transporters and people to go the civil suit in lower court if they desired.